Liberal Party of Honduras

Published 22nd November, 2013

The Liberal Party of Honduras was founded in 1890 and can claim to be the oldest party in Honduras. It describes itself as Centre-right and believes in Liberalism.

The party has both progressive and conservative wings which has worked in its favour for much of the time but has resulted in internal strife.

The party held power from 1957 until 1963 when it was ousted by the military. Most in the PLH government were exiled and the country was ruled by General Oswaldo López until 1970.

In 1971 the PLH matched the National Party of Honduras (PNH) on 32 seats each and eventually the two parties worked together in a National Unity Government, something it repeated again in 1987.

General Oswaldo López staged another coup against President Ramón Ernesto Cruz (PNH) in December 1972. In 1980 the Liberals, although winning 35 of the 71 seats in the Constituent Assembly were unable to form a government and power remained in the hands of General Policarpo Paz García as an interim president. Fresh elections were held in 1981 and the party’s presidential candidate Roberto Suazo Cordova won the election with 53.9% of the vote and the party took 44 of the now 81 seats.

José Simón Azcona del Hoyo won the 1985 presidential election for the party and they won a narrow victory taking exactly half the seats, 67 seats, in the 134 seat National Congress. Their luck didn’t hold and they lost the 1989 general election but were to have a golden period between 1993 and 2001 when their presidential candidates Carlos Roberto Reina Idiáquez and Carlos Roberto Flores Facussé won consecutive elections in 1993 and 1997. The party also won majorities in Congress in both elections and the country experienced a period of comparative growth.

2001 was a bad year for the party but they won once more in 2005 when José Manuel Zelaya Rosales was elected and the party won 62 of the 126 seats in the National Congress. Zelaya was eventually ousted by the military but only after the Honduran Congress voted to remove him from office.

The party then lost the 2010 election dropping to just 45 seats.

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